What Type of Support is Provided by the Franchisor?
Amanda: All right, so on our last episode, we talked a lot about the introspective journey, right? What are some things that I need to think about as I pursue this opportunity in franchising and what are some things I need to consider as I potentially make that transition from an employee to a business owner and all of the things that go into that? But today I wanna talk a little bit about what type of support or resources does a franchisor provider or does the franchisor provide? And I wanna kind of go through that process from startup to operations and so on and so forth.
Mike, I think you mentioned it in the last one, and some of the old adage, right, you’re in business for yourself but not by yourself. Especially when it comes to franchising. So what does the, not by yourself look like as a startup? You know, making that decision to open a franchise can be a very daunting task. There’s a lot of unknowns. There’s a lot of, you know, it’s a new industry potentially. It’s something that’s very close to my heart and especially as we talk about home care. But what are the practical applications of that? So start-up operations. What type of support do franchisors provide for a startup?
Mike Magid: Who wants to take that? You wanna take that?
Mike Powers: Well, I’m sure I’m gonna be able to add in there. But picking up where you left off is what I think what Amanda was asking you how important the support was. And I know maybe some of the folks out there didn’t get a chance to hear that maybe we wanna reinforce that [inaudible 00:01:51] foundation.
Mike Magid: Sure. So, you know, obviously, once I’ve made a decision I wanna be in the franchising world, the journey of exploration and education about the industries and the companies and why I would make the decision to go with one over another and industry first and then a company second, you know, that journey when it’s complete, I’m ready to sign a franchise agreement and the company that I’m wanting to sign it with is excited to have me sign a franchise agreement.
So I sign on that agreement and I don’t know what to do at that point. Like, there was a lot that has to be done from signing a franchise agreement to just getting my door’s open for business. And I think the critical part, in our company, Griswold Home Care, we call it the launch process. And that’s from the signing of the franchise agreement to the opening of the franchise. And there are a lot of things that have to get done in that process.
So if I was doing this independently, I either have to figure all that stuff out by myself. And I don’t know if I’m skilled enough to know everything I need to do, whether its licensure, whether it’s bank accounts, whether it’s websites, whether it’s collateral material I’m gonna use. What my sales pitch is going to be? Is there scripting that needs to be done? What kind of paperwork am I using? What are the regulatory things I need to be able to? There are so many things…
Amanda: Right. About office space. What’s a good location to be in? All those things to consider.
Mike Magid: Yeah. So if I’m doing it on my own, I’ve got to figure that out or I got to pay a consultant to do that to help guide me. But in a franchising concept, they help me launch my business. They may have, if there are 120 different things that have to be done because they’ve done that over and over and over again and they’ve perfected it, they can literally take me through a process of completing those 120 tasks in whatever design timeline that takes. So they can say, “Once you sign, if we follow this launch process, here’s your projected open date.”
Now, on my own, I don’t know what that timeline is because I’m gonna do it one time, I’m gonna do with the first time and I hope to get it right. When I go with the franchising side and I get into their launch process, they’re on autopilot. I’m going through it for the first time, but they’re helping me guide me through every step of that process so that I hit my targeted grand opening day.
So the first piece is it starts with launch and then once that launch process is done, I’m ready to open up my business.
And I turn it over to Mike to either elaborate on the launch process or to pick it up from the grand opening.
Mike Powers: Well, if I could just interject, even before that, when you become part of a franchise business operation like ours, like Griswold Home Care, the processes actually begin while you’re looking at, is this the right business for me? I mean, we have a process because we wanna make sure that you’re a good fit and we’re a good fit, but also what can you anticipate and what your expectations can be.
Through that process, as we build that relationship, that business relationship, it’s very important that we’re moving towards that decision once that decision is made, we’ve laid the groundwork to now build upon for the rest of the process, such as Mike said, the launch. The launch is so important. When we talk about a timeline out there, just think if you were to open a business today and say, “Where do I begin? I’ve made the commitment, but holy mackerel, there’s so much I need to do. Where do I begin?” And we have a methodical process to launch because we know that that’s where anxiety begins to come in. You’re all over the place and we need to channel the energies in all the right spots and all the key areas so we can move through the transition process. As you were alluding to, Mike, it’s so important to have a timeline.
And by having our launch team work with you not only to establish the timeline but also to work with you to make sure that all the important people and the responsible people on that timeline are holding for or hold firm to what they need to commit so we can move through that and continue to focus on the future as we launch.
And then there’s a handoff that’s made to our support team, our learning and development team, once you’re totally integrated in that process as well…
Amanda: Sorry, I wanna go next and run my mind.
Mike Powers: So I’ll let you get rid of that.
Amanda: Because it sounds like… Slide this closer.
Mike Powers: Okay.
Amanda: All right. So it sounds like, you know, a good franchisor will have that process laid out for you, that when you sign on the dotted line, they don’t say, “Okay, figure it out and let us know when you’re gonna send us your royalties.” Right. There’s a guide, there’s somebody to kind of chaperone you along that road and make sure that you hit all the milestones and things that you need to do. But let’s talk specifically about home care, right? So we’ve talked in previous episodes about how close I am with my family and elderly generations. And home care is something that’s very near and dear to my heart, but I don’t know the first thing about running a home care business.
So I follow the checklist and I’ve got my office space and I’ve got my licenses and I’ve got all of the things I need to do and my doors are open, now what? Right. Now, you know, the industry is something that I’ve done a lot of research on and I feel very tied to and it aligns with my personal goals and purposes and helps me achieve all the things that I wanted to achieve and wealth and debt reduction and all those things that we’ve talked about, but how on earth do I run a home care business? And you know, how does a franchisor provide that support?
Mike Powers: Well, that’s a great question. We’re not gonna throw you at the deep end of the pool and expect you…
Amanda: That’s good to hear.
Mike Powers: You know, a part of that process to reduce any stress when you’re open. Like, what do I do next now that I’m open, is to create a solid integrated business plan. And that’s part of the launch team and our support team. Because then that not only takes you through the checklist leading up to the launch, but what happens once I launch and I open my business? What am I expected to do? And those timelines, activities, strategies, our outline so when you get back you know what to do. Day one, I’m open, what are my activities, what are the priorities? Day two, day three. So that we can help guide you. And you’re never gonna be alone because the support team is there as well as our team and our home office to help you every step of the way.
And one thing we’ve talked in previous podcasts is about introducing our new franchisees to our existing franchise members. So there as well. So we have layers of support that are there because you become part of a fraternity. And people who have been in that seat before can say, “Hey, I was there. I know that you may wanna not follow that process that was laid out by the Griswold Home Care team, but trust me, if you follow that process, it will work for you.” What do you think, Mike?
Mike Powers: Yeah. So I wanna step back from the opening of the business for a minute because you bring up a valid point. You’ve never run a home care business and then you go through the launch process and now you hit your grand opening date and the doors are open and so what do you do?
Amanda: Right. I need clients.
Mike Powers: I need a lot of things, right? But what I know I need is business, right? Because my money is now real, it’s on the line, and I’m gonna start paying bills and paying staff. And so it becomes very real to the business. So, every franchise company will put you through a training program during that launch process. In our case is called Home Care Academy with Griswold Home Care. But every franchise, and I won’t speak to the length of their training programs, some have it for days, some have it for weeks, but whatever their process is, the goal of their training program is to teach you at least the theoretical aspects of running a home care business. So every phase of what it is that you’re gonna be doing, every phase of what your staff is going to be doing, they’re gonna take you as we do in our training program through a continuum of their program so that you know how it all fits in to the entire business model.
As an example, if you have to have clients or customers, you have to find those customers. And so maybe their continuum of their training programs starts with client acquisition. And then from there, what happens once I acquire a client? Well, you know. So that continuum is taught to you before you ever open up your doors.
Amanda: So, Mike, I wanna pause there real quick because I wanna stick with the continuum and education is very, very important and it really does weave through everything that we do. But from a, you know, client perspective, right, our customers, where do I find those people? What does my franchisor do to help me? So I know that I learned the theories of you know, well, you should go out and marketing your community and network and do all those things, but on an ongoing basis, once I leave that room, what else happens?
Mike Magid: Yeah. So, you know, one of the things they’ll do is bring to you a set of vendors, you know, or partners, not even vendors, I’ll call them partners because they really are partners at negotiated rates so that whatever your franchise model is, in our case it’s home care, you’re gonna have a set of partner providers that you can contract with to begin that client acquisition process. Whether it’s done over in the cyber world, whether it’s done on TV or radio or in person through networking or you know, marketing type of opportunities that are out there. Every model and franchise is gonna have their way of acquiring customers. Critical for you, critical for you that you understand what they are. That’s what you would learn during your training program.
I mean, there’s so much more to training, but if we started there with the continuum, you’re gonna learn about the vendor partners, you’re gonna learn about how they generate the clients, what are the best practices that you as a business owner and your team can implement in that process up to the point where they either walk in your door or that phone rings to give you the opportunity to earn their business.
Amanda: So, I can expect for my franchisor that not only are they gonna teach me, now, I may come into this with a really strong background in sales. Maybe that’s my career prior to owning a home care franchise, and I come in the door, and I get that, but they’re gonna help direct me to who I need to build relationships with, right? I’m not gonna have to go back to my office and say, okay, well should I focus my energies here and there, that’s support and guidance that they will provide to me?
Mike Magid: Yeah. And then I’ll let you jump in here, but just a real quick critical point number two. Critical point number two, by the way, that… Sorry, I have a habit of saying “critical.” Okay. Everything is critical to me, but…
Mike Powers: Most of his conversations, it’s critically important that you say that.
Mike Magid: Critically important. So, well, I’m gonna have a [inaudible 00:14:06] moment here for a second now. Now I lost my train of thought, but, I think… Gosh, I lost my thought. I’ll get back.
Amanda: It’ll come back.
Mike Magid: It’ll come back to me. I apologize to the listening audience who was waiting on the edge of the seat for that nugget of information.
Amanda: I know I am. It’s very critical information.
Mike Magid: Right?
Mike Powers: Well, I don’t wanna pass over when we talk about business planning because you talk about the landscape of the market that you’re going into. Like, what does that look like? Part of the business planning process is doing an analysis of the market. You know, for example, where do I go get business? If I have a sales background, who am I gonna call? Well, to outline that in your exact market place, identify those sources and then come with a plan to go out and meet with those referral sources certainly cleans up any and gives you some distinct targets to go out and begin to build a more strategic plan around that in the marketplace.
And then once you get on site with a referral source, what do I say? What do I do? What does the process look like? All those things are incorporated in what Mike had alluded to. In our home care academies, what we do, which is a very, very comprehensive, well-run education program that helps you prepare not only for the home care business but also as a business professional, how are you going to do that.
Mike Magid: Yeah, and as you were talking, thank you, I do remember the point I was gonna make. And you know, you mentioned, so let’s say that your background was in sales and you don’t know anything about marketing or what the best way to approach the home care business if that’s what you bought from a marketing perspective.
We started this conversation, I think, by saying what type of support does a franchise company or a franchisor would provide. And I think the beautiful thing about franchising is in most instances, background won’t matter. What matters is having the right business skillsets and acumen. And that comes from your resume. And then having, at least in this industry, kind of that mission-driven, purpose-driven, you know, mindset of wanting to make a difference and give back. That’s why our podcast is franchising with purpose.
But the beautiful thing about franchising is if you are a sales professional and not a marketing professional or not an IT professional or an operations’ professional, you get that support from the franchisor. And it starts in launch, right through the training, in our case, our homecare academy, and in that grand opening. So whatever you don’t have skill sets in can be learned over time through your relationship and reliance on the franchisor. And that’s the beauty of what a franchise company works.
Amanda: Well, I’m feeling much better about opening a franchise at this point, now there’s a tried and tested path before me.
Mike Magid: Did you bring a contract with you?
Mike Powers: I’m right here.
Amanda: But I wanna just kind of wrap things up with, you know, it sounds great, right? There’s the launch process. You guys are gonna take me through step by step what I need to do. You’re gonna teach me everything I need to know to run my business, right, to get clients and customers, the caregivers, all the different components who to market to, all of the things I need to do.
Well, let’s talk about growing my business for a second, and the growth-support side of it. What happens, you know, I’m running, things are starting to kind of gel and come together. Am I just running my own race here or what kind of ongoing support can I expect from a franchisor?
Mike Powers: Well, we have a support team that works directly with our franchise owners out there. You could say they wear multiple hats such as coaches, helping coach. We’re not reactive. We’re proactive. Our team is talking to our franchise owners and learning a little bit about how they’re doing if there’s any need for resources and they direct them internally to the resources that we have. But we have some skilled people on our team that not only know about the home care business but have come through various levels beginning at the point where they’ve answered the phone, that first phone call coming through, doing intakes and going out and doing marketing care coordination.
So we have people that actually have been in there and I’m sure other networks that are out there, other franchisors are similar, but we really wanna pride ourselves in having that close relationship with our franchise owners. And I believe we do and we even can leverage what our own abilities from our own company-owned operations. So we’re able to test some things out in the field and then take them to our support team and share them with our franchise owners.
Mike Magid: Yeah. And I’m gonna put a little different spin on that because it’s very thorough in terms of how we operate. So the spin I wanna put on it is I wanna stay with the growth theme for a second because you could argue, and I’m gonna stretch this argument a little bit, that every department helps you grow. So let’s assume for a second that you’re in a franchise system and you need legal or compliance help. You’re not a lawyer, you’re not a compliance officer, it’s not the skill set and you brought in, but now you find yourself trying to navigate the legal or regulatory landscape.
Well, now you call your franchisor, your home office, you talk to their compliance officer or legal team, and you get an understanding of what it is. And you could say that through that process of support that’s gonna help you grow because if you get in trouble or you put the business or brand at risk, you can lose your business. And so there’s a way of growing your business by leveraging legal or regulatory support.
You may not know anything about IT, but IT, as we all know is critical in today’s world. And so you may be thinking about where you wanna go from a technology standpoint and how you may wanna communicate with your clients or how you may wanna communicate with your team and you may not understand what the best ways are or what’s available from a technological standpoint, but your franchisor/home office will and they should be able to guide you through those decision-making processes, those purchases. If you’re trying to purchase on your own or you’re leveraging a provider partner, there’s a way that you grow your business because technology will help you streamline and help you grow.
You may not be a marketing person. You may not know the best ways to market. Should I consider the cyber world? Should I consider radio or TV? Should I go out there and shake hands and you know, introduce that business, and what do I need to take with me and what should that material say? You may not be an expert in marketing, but your franchisor or home office will be that support. They can create this stuff for you. They can tell you the best approaches on how to market your business to generate the most amount of return.
You may not be a operations person, you may not be skilled at managing a profit and loss statement. However, your franchisor or home office will have that support. And what they can do is help you with benchmarking. Benchmarking where are the critical points in the business that you have to manage to? How do you get that done so that you are not just acquiring clients, but you’re acquiring them through benchmarking and tracking to be able to hit the profit numbers that both you set for yourself and your business plan, that you got support with during the launch process, but that you’re also, you know, dropping that profit that you hope to get into your bank account so you can meet payroll and pay your bills.
You could argue that all those things, and there’s much more to it, but all those things help you grow.
Mike Powers: You know, Mike had mentioned earlier, and the way we deliver care to our clients and our care recipients out there, the continuum of care. We also have, to pick up on that, a continuum of service and support because the people that work on our team and no matter what department are aware and we share our information on how we can help so that if one of our franchisees had a challenge that needed to overcome, you know, it’s just not a one person who works in that we do as a team. And then we look to see what other aspects of our support team, whether it be marketing technology and whether it might be one of our preferred partners, our education department, how we can bring our resources to help resolve that challenge and help them move forward. That’s so important. And so I think if you’re looking for that support, they’re the kind of questions you need to ask. I mean, how can I bring it all together?
Amanda: All right. So it sounds like, you know, I’m feeling really good about this launch process and the training to get me up to speed but also, [inaudible 00:23:13] can be very overwhelming to start a new business and feel like I have to know everything about what technology to buy and what I have to know. And that changes every five minutes. So in two years, is it gonna be the same thing? You know, do I have to be an expert in sales and marketing? Do I have to be an expert in legality and compliance, right? I don’t have to do all of those things because I’ve got my home office team to lean on and to support me in that.
Any parting remarks because I would like to talk a little bit about, I mean, in our next episode, switch outside of the franchisor and what options are available to me as a franchisee, just in general. Right. I know there’s a lot of organizations out there. So before we talk about that, any other comments you’d both like to make about the resources that a franchisor provides?
Mike Powers: Yeah, I’ll coin my friend, Mike’s term. The other piece is critical, number three, is the fraternity of franchises as Mike likes to call it, right? You have that fraternity of franchisees out there that if you didn’t want to go to your home office or you wanted to have a different conversation, you know, we’re more on the ground, real-world business conversation. You’ve got as many franchisees that are in their system that you can call and talk to and get their take and expertise on the same subjects that you could call your franchisor and get their take on as well. And so you’ve got so many people around you in a good franchise system to be able to help you make the right decisions. You’re not on your own. Again, you’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.
Mike Magid: Yeah. And I would just like to just add that we talked about the process of learning about the franchisor or as you go through that process. I think once you connect with the team, your confidence level as a potential business owner may be very low or uncertain. I would believe when you get through that process and meet the team, I know what we feel here when you meet our team, your confidence meter is so high and you’re ready to go knowing that, hey, I’m not on this journey by myself. There is a group of people that will help me every step of the way and somebody is only a phone call away to help and support. So that’s what [inaudible 00:25:23]
Amanda: It takes a village.
Mike Magid: Yes, it does. It does take a village.
Amanda: All right. Thanks both for being here, and we’ll talk in our next episode about some of the resources that are available to franchisees as a whole.
Mike Powers: Awesome. Thank you, Amanda.
Mike Magid: Thanks, Amanda. I appreciate it.